Right now, CBD- and THC-infused lube are all the rage, but is it worth it? We spoke to a few different sex experts to get more information on both. CBD-infused lube is very popular. Here’s everything to know about purchasing and using CBD lube with your partner.
Sexperts Weigh In on THC- and CBD-Infused Lube (Exclusive)
With the destigmatization of using THC and CBD for both medicinal and recreational purposes, more and more sexually active folks are beginning to incorporate it into their sex lives. Sex stores are now advertising THC- and CBD-infused lube to augment your overall experience and even to potentially induce or improve orgasms. So, we investigated these types of product by speaking with a few sex experts.
We did email Q&As with Erotic Educator and Founder of Organic Loven, Taylor Sparks, as well as the co-founders of pleasure-tech company Emojibator, Kristin Fretz and Joe Vela, to answer all of your ~hottest~ questions.
GREEN MATTERS: Why might someone want to incorporate CBD or THC infused lube into their sex life?
Taylor Sparks: Both CBD and THC act as a vasodilator, meaning it opens up the blood vessels bringing more blood to the clitoris (erectile tissue) making your orgasms more intense and the vagina more lubricated. Cannabis interacts directly with an endocannabinoid system giving us the feel good emotion or putting us in the mood.
Kristin Fretz: The traditional ways of consuming THC or CBD (food, pills, flower, etc.) can be intimidating or non-starters for many people. We made our Phuksaus CBD-infused lube as a friendly and exciting way to experiment in an intimate setting such as masturbation or sex. CBD infused lube lets a mainstream audience experience CBD without needing access to a legal marijuana or hemp store, which sometimes can be price prohibitive.
GM: What does it mean if there is CBD or THC in lube, and how is it infused?
TS: The CBD/THC is added during the making of the lubricant along with other ingredients. They may use a CBD isolate which is the purest CBD compound removing all other compounds. This is usually extracted from hemp because it does not have the THC compound. Some companies use full spectrum which will include other compounds of the plant such as terpenes, essential oils and cannabinoids. Broad spectrum is a combination of full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.
Joe Vela: This means that CBD or THC has been absorbed by a carrier molecule, most likely oil, and made into a cream, salve, tincture, lotion, or in this case personal lubricant. One key reason for using carrier oil is that it improves the bioavailability of the CBD, which means it helps your body absorb the CBD oil. CBD is fat-soluble, which means that it dissolves in oil rather than water, although new methods are being developed that do not require carrier oil. Fat-soluble substances are better absorbed when digested along with fat, even in small amounts. We use sweet almond oil in Phukaus CBD which is full of vitamin E and high in fat.
GM: How should you determine what you want?
TS: The labels will/should tell you whether there is full or broad spectrum CBD and the milligrams. The higher the milligram the more CBD within the product. Both CBD/THC are dosed in milligrams. The cannabinoids in both CBD/THC are delivered directly to the receptors in the skin, without entering the bloodstream so you will not have any psychoactive effects from the THC in the lubricant. THC lubricant is only available in states where it is legal, whereas CBD lubricant is legal in all 50 states under the farm bill that passed in 2018.
JV: After much personal experimentation, we decided that a minimum effective topical dose was somewhere around 1mg/ml. Our lubricant has a concentration of 1.25 milligrams of weed per milliliters of lube (or 75 milligrams of CBD per 60-milliliter bottle). It’s not required that manufacturers provide this information, so keep an eye out for products that are transparent and provide a complete ingredients list.
GM: What is the difference between the effects of THC-infused lube and CBD-infused lube in terms of effects? Why might one choose one over the other?
TS: THC lubricants tend to have more physiological effects such as more blood flow and more sensitivity in the vaginal/clitoral area.
KF: CBD products have less than 0.3 percent THC, meaning you won’t feel those psychoactive effects of THC. I highly recommend starting with CBD infused products to ease yourself into what an enhanced pleasure experience feels like for your body and mind.
GM: Would either show up in a drug test?
TS: The THC lubricant may show up if swallowed and it will get you high. Something to consider when using it and then indulging in oral sex.
JV: It really depends on the drug test. I’ve never heard of anyone test for CBD on a drug test, so that would not appear. It’s very unlikely to find topical THC findings in a blood or urine sample.
GM: Do they have any psychoactive effects or just physical?
TS: For CBD it is only physical, but as mentioned, the THC will have a psychoactive effect if swallowed.
JV: While there is not enough research on the effects of CBD, users report increased blood flow, pelvic relaxation, and decreased inflammation and pain. With CBD, there are very minimal psychoactive effects, but in my experiences with topical THC, and because I think the body and mind are so closely linked, I’ve noticed both a physical and a psychoactive effect, similar to eating a low-dose edible.
GM: Does either product affect people with different genitalia differently? If so, why?
TS: CBD/THC as a lubricant is most effective on women because the vagina is covered in a mucus membrane and 100 percent of what you put on it is absorbed into the body. For men, oil based CBD lubricant can be used to lubricate the penis after sex, especially if there has been friction. CBD also helps to reduce pain and swelling and can be used on/in the vulva/vagina after sex to reduce any inflammation.
JV: That’s a great question! Shape, size, lifestyle, and physical health can play a part in how high a dosage you need for desired effects, so I imagine there are some gender differences. Women may be more likely to use CBD for pain or anxiety, and men for relaxation or wellness, so the motivation for trying these products may produce different effects.
What’s the Deal With CBD Lube, Anyway?
Here’s everything to know about it—including the best products to try.
With all the recent excitement around cannabidiol (CBD) and its seemingly endless purported benefits, it’s only natural that CBD lube is now a thing. It feels like wherever you look, a new sex company is popping up and selling a different cannabis-infused product promising to take your sexual pleasure to new heights. But does CBD lube actually do anything that regular lube can’t?
First, a refresher on what CBD is. There are two major chemical components in the cannabis plant: THC and CBD. THC—short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol—is the stuff that gets you high. CBD doesn’t. It can, however, potentially impart feelings of relaxation and calm: While scientists are still in the early stages of CBD research, early animal and human studies have pointed to CBD’s anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties, according to NPR. In a recent 2019 study of 72 participants with anxiety and insomnia, four out of five participants reported lower levels of anxiety, and two-thirds reported better sleep after taking 25 milligrams of CBD every day for a month. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic reports that CBD can be an effective anti-seizure medication.
CBD became legal federally when the Farm Bill passed in December 2018, making cannabis products that have less than 0.3% THC legal. That means that across all 50 states, CBD can be infused in pretty much every beauty and wellness product from facial creams to personal lubricants. (Nevertheless, as the New York Times points out, many states haven’t changed their laws to match new federal rules, leaving local police and prosecutors confused over what is legal and what is not.)
More From Men’s Health
Now, back to CBD lube!
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What are the benefits of CBD lube?
There’s still not a ton of CBD research out there, which means that most available info on CBD lube and sexual pleasure is anecdotal. That being said, many folks swear by the positive effects of using it during sex.
“CBD [reportedly] reduces inflammation, so for women who may experience pain or discomfort during intercourse, a CBD lubricant is your best friend,” explains Angela Mustone, founder and president of the CBD-infused lube brand High On Love. “Not only does it help reduce pain, but it also may help to relax the muscles and may increase blood flow.”
As for men, putting CBD lube on your junk “doesn’t do much . except lubricate,” Mustone says. However, you might see some added benefits if you use it on your butt; like the vagina, the anus is lined with mucous membranes, which allows for better absorption of CBD.
“Thankfully, everyone has a butthole,” says Sophie Saint Thomas, author of the upcoming book The Little Book of CBD for Self-Care.
What should I look for when purchasing CBD lube?
Given that CBD lube companies are popping up everywhere, how do you know you’re buying high-quality CBD lube?
“If you can, find an organic, full-spectrum CBD lube,” St. Thomas says. “There is an expression in cannabis, ‘the more the merrier.’ It means that individual cannabinoids, like CBD, work better when you leave in all the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and other nice plant products.”
According to St. Thomas, the second-best option is broad-spectrum CBD lube, “which keeps in most of the other plant compounds.” Next on the list after broad-spectrum is CBD isolate, which would only include CBD extract.
How about lubricants with CBD and THC?
Yep, some lubes have both. (You can legally buy ’em if you live in one of these 11 U.S. states.) According to some users, THC-infused lubes have the capacity to heighten sexual arousal even more than CBD lubes. While there’s evidence that cannabis can influence female sexual function, more research needs to be conducted to know for certain.
“With THC-infused products, [people report their] orgasms can last longer and be more intense and powerful,” Mustone says.
You might be wondering: Does lube with THC in it. get you high? The FAQ section of Foria Pleasure, a sexual wellness brand, answers this question: “The majority of women who try Foria Pleasure topically report they do not get ‘high’ and their experiences are of a more heightened sensation around sensual acts.” St. Thomas says it might happen if you’re using it in your anus, as “the lining of the rectum is thin.”
Of course, you will get high if you drink THC lube, as proven when writer Mira Gonzalez drank an entire bottle of Foria and briefly lost her mind. Of course, this is something we absolutely do not recommend doing.